Culture leading the way

In the south of the city centre, we want culture to lead the way. Portsmouth Guildhall and the New Theatre Royal, alongside Central Library and Victoria Park, already form the backbone of the cultural offer in this area.

We want this to be complemented with new and inviting public spaces, innovative events, art, music, cafes, and restaurants sitting alongside well-known and independent retailers. Several projects, led by the council and other organisations are already underway or have been completed.

Victoria Park Fountain

Victoria Park

Victoria Park has been at the heart of Portsmouth for over 140 years. Created in 1878 after the old naval city walls were demolished, it turned farmland into a people’s park – an open green space for those living in cramped conditions in Landport and Portsea.

In December 2021, following extensive local engagement, we were awarded £2.4m of National Lottery Heritage Funding to restore the People’s Park. This has funded a a four-year project to rejuvenate this important community asset.

The revitalisation of Victoria Park has recently reached a major milestone with the launch of a new community hub, children’s play and other new facilities for people to enjoy.

Guildhall Pedestrianisation

Guildhall Walk pedestrianisation

During the pandemic, Guildhall Walk was temporarily closed to vehicles to create enough space for people to safely socially distance from each other, by allowing people to walk in the vehicle free road.

These temporary measures received positive feedback from the public and businesses in the area. As a result, it was decided to make these changes permanent. These work was part of the District Local Town Centre Scheme, which aims to create safer public spaces and support walking and cycling.

Other improvements include 12 new cycle stands that have been installed, improved signage and a new home for the daytime taxi rank in King Henry I Street.

The BASE at Portsmouth Guildhall


The basement of Portsmouth Guildhall has been transformed into an exciting, new creative space for 11-25 year olds, where they can meet and explore their creative potential. The £1.3m project was led by The Guildhall Trust. The BASE gives young people FREE access to:

  • A band rehearsal room with backline equipment
  • A production studio with DJ mixing space
  • A multimedia suite with specialist software
  • A small performance space
  • A lounge and chill out space
  • An exhibition area

The BASE is now open.

Station Square junction

Transport improvements

We are improving the area for pedestrians and cyclists as part of the South East Hampshire Rapid Transit scheme. Surrounding footpaths will also be improved to link with the Fratton to Portsmouth Guildhall walking route.

We’ll widen the road layout on Isambard Brunel Road to allow a two-way traffic flow, which will help to reduce congestion, and a new controlled pedestrian crossing on Isambard Brunel Road near Guildhall Square which will help to make this area safer for pedestrians to cross.

We’ll also replace the mini roundabout with traffic light junction. This will include controlled pedestrian crossings and will help to make this area safer for people to cross on foot.